The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902, October 03, 1901, Image 1

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    Cbc Conservative.
One dollar and a half per year in advance ,
postpaid to any part of the United States or
Canada. Remittances mide payable to The
Morton Printing Company.
Address , THE CONSERVATIVE , Nebraska
City , Nebraska.
Advertising rates made known upon appli
Entered at the postofflce at Nebraska City ,
Neb. , as Second Class matter , July 29 , 1898.
The question is
CHURCH BELLS , sometimes asked
why every church-
building has a bell upon it , which is
kept in operation , as the neighbors
think , a large part of the day and
night ; is it that in this age of the
world one who wishes to worship re
quires to be reminded of the place and
time by the ringing of a bell ?
With respect to the present usage ,
practice would appear to be justified
by the results obtained. Bells are
found attached to churches , school
houses and court houses , and in pre
cisely those places do performances
begin at the hours for which they
are announced.
In other kinds of public gatherings ,
as in meetings of lodges , city councils
or committees , it is useless to attend at
the set time , and one is safe in hap
pening in anywhere within a couple
of hours of it. There are even the
atres , in which the curtain is sup
posed to rise at 8 o'clock , where the
commencement is delayed until it is
thought that as many are present as
mean to come. From this point of
view , it is clear that much valuable
time would be saved to the commun
ity if bells were multiplied to the
point of distraction.
But as to the period when , and the
object for which , religious societies
first took up the use of sonorous
metal as an adjunct to their worship ,
it does not appear that there is any
man who knows this. The practice
seems to be universal. Wherever
mankind is found , the ruling powers
are addressed in the voice of bells , or
if the worshippers are still too rude
to be able to fashion bells , they con
trive some kind of clatter to answer
the same end. When they began it
is only known to the deity whom
they all thus variously seek to propi
tiate. The Egyptians , for thousands
of years before Moses' time , used pecu
liar rattles to notify their gods that
they were about to be praised or peti
tioned in due form. The Jews were
equally considerate of their deity ,
and put bells on the skirts of the
robe that the high priest wore when
he entered the holy of holies ; this , it
is explained , was to avoid surprises.
When they came in captivity to Baby
lon , they found the inhabitants of
that city adoring with a whole band ;
the orchestration has even come down
to us ; the Babylonians , in worship
ing a certain golden image , per
formed upon the cornet , flute , harp ,
sackbut , psaltery and dulcimer'and
the result must have been -very grati
fying to the indwelling spirit. In
the Roman Catholic church today a
bell is sounded when the officiating
priest holds up the host or consecrat
ed wafer , in view of the congrega
The rattling and bumping that pro
ceed from the sacred inclosure of the
Indian medicine tent , and the dis
cords that the Chinese laundryman
from his before
plucks long-tailed banjo
fore the gaudy god who is never miss
ing from his wall , are similar mani
festations with which most of us are
The explanation of so wide-spread
a custom must manifestly be purely
a matter of theory. To account for
these phenomena is the province of
students of primitive man. Many of
them have set their hand to it , but
nobody knows much the more. One
view of the matter is , that bells are
rung to frighten away harmful spir
its at critical times ; it has been found
to help in cases of eclipse of the sun ;
and the church-bell is still tolled in
eastern towns immediately after a
death , and also during an interment.
Another is that bells are purely in
struments of worship ; attention is
called to the form of a bell , which re
sembles the pyramids of Egypt , and
also the flame of fire , the purifying
and life-giving element , which must
have received man's grateful adora
tion while he was yet a very humble
biped ( or quadruman ) indeed.
It is a matter that has many rami
fications , and altogether it is a very
deep subject.
A commu n i t y
GOOD INTEGRALS made up of per
MAKE A GOOD sons who within
COMPOSITE. the limits of the
common weal are
doing the best they can for them 1
selves , will be a model of sobriety ,
industry , intelligence and prosperity.
It will need no courts. It will sup
port no prison. It will be too self-
respecting to beg for class legisla
tion. It will never advocate pater
nalism in government. It will never
billet upon the public service , either
military or civil , men who , failing
in the handicrafts and the profes
sions , seek office as a means of liveli
hood and distinction. It will meas
ure the value of individual lives and
services by the benefits which they ,
not their fathers , have conferred up
on the state. A pure democracy can
only be maintained by a people who
are individually self-reliantly mak
ing strenuous endeavors to develop ,
cultivate and ennoble themselves.
When a majority of our people become
thus employed the United States , as
their composite , will have the su
preme satisfaction of approximating
fraternity , equality and justice in hu
man government.
Then statesmanship will not mean
merely office-getting for friends or ap
propriation-getting for localities.
Then Congressional Directory biogra
phies will recite not , as now , how
much the state lias bestowed upon the
statesman , but how much in solid ben
eficent service , with self-denying de
votion , the statesman has accom
plished for the state not what the
people have done for him , but what
he has done for the people.
It is then the duty of a citizen to
live and act with the lofty purpose of
doing things which shall make his
native country better. And thus liv
ing and striving , when the shadows
begin to fall and the beautiful things
of the earth which he has admired
and loved are dissolving into blank
darkness , he may smile at dusty death
and be comforted in infinite content
ment , because with self-reliance he
shall have written an indelible auto
graph for good. Perhaps on some
soul that is wiser and whiter for his
teaching and example ; perhaps only
on some spot of ground that is more
beautiful because of his thoughtful
tillage and tasteful care ; perhaps by
having planted a useful tree in some
soil or a grand truth in some soul
he will have registered himself a
worthy guest of . .this globe.